Lodsys Flips Bird At Rovio, EA With New Patent Lawsuits

Angry Birds

You can almost see the lawyers for Rovio debating whether or not they’d like to use the exploding black bird or the dive-bombing white bird against Lodsys, which has extended its patent claims to a number of gaming companies including the maker of Angry Birds, the most popular mobile game on the planet. Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS), Atari, and Take-Two Interactive (NSDQ: TTWO) are also among the latest companies targeted for patent-infringement claims by Lodsys.

FOSS Patents spotted Lodsys’ amended complaint Thursday, which adds the above four mobile gaming companies as well as Square Enix. Lodsys has sued a number of small and large mobile developers claiming that they are infringing on patents it owns that cover in-app purchasing methods, among other things. It’s looking for royalty payments based on applications sold, and has thrown a fair amount of uncertainty into the mobile software development space over whether or not it really has the wherewithal to enforce these claims.

Thirty-seven companies in total are being sued by Lodsys, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Apple tried to clear up some of the uncertainty regarding whether iOS developers would have to face these claims by asserting that a license held by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to the Lodsys patents also covers its developers. Google (NSDQ: GOOG), besieged by patent problems of its own, hasn’t addressed the situation directly.

Rovio’s Angry Birds had been downloaded 200 million times as of May, Rovio announced at PaidContent Mobile 2011. It is consistently one of the most popular games on both iOS and Android, and is sought after by other platforms, such as Windows Phone 7 and Google’s Chrome OS.

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